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Human Rights Groups Petition Enugu CP, Chief Judge, Over 4m Fraud Against Church

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Seven human rights groups   in different parts of Nigeria, have petitioned the Enugu State Commissioner of police over alleged defrauding of a church, Calvary Victory Mission Church, the sum of 4  Million naira  by its landlord, Mr Chijioke  Nsonwu, who also unlawfully demolished the property.

The organizations in a petition, entitled “Appeal  for  your urgent intervention In  a case  of fraud  and   unlawful  demolition  of property,  housing Calvary  Victory Mission  Church  By one  Chijioke Nsonwu” made available to African Examiner  in Enugu, urged the state police boss to use his good office to  look into the matter.

“We, the undersigned human rights organizations, write to you on behalf of an Enugu based proprietor of a church, ‘Calvary Victory Mission’, situated at No.1A, Nike Road, Enugu.

“The said pastor informed us that he was defrauded by one Mr. ChijiokeNsonwu (his landlord at the said property) who fraudulently obtained the total sum of four million Naira from him on the false pretense that he would sell the property to him but went ahead to demolish the church based on a dubious and secretly  obtained court order to recover possession of the property.

According to the petition, the  Church leader, had no knowledge that there was any court action instituted against him by the said Mr.  Nsonwu with respect to the property until the said church building was demolished  on Wednesday 15th September 2021.

“The property was destroyed and Mr.Nsonwu  is also yet to return the money he fraudulently obtained from him.

The organizations in the petition hinted that Pastor John Williams Ordia, the victim, narrated to them as follows:

“That he started occupying the building at No.1A, Nike Road, Abakpa Nike, Enugu as a tenant and had been running the church since 2008 when he paid the first 4- year rent to Mr. Chijioke Nsonwu, who issued him with a receipt bearing his Company name Pamco Nig Ltd.

He said that at the expiration of the first 4-year rent, the church on the instruction of  Mr. Chijioke Nsonwu started paying annual rent for which they also obtained receipts.

“That the church was not owing any rent at any point in time as it regularly paid its annual rent as at when due.

The Clergy man added “that sometime in February 2020, Chijioke Nsonwu served the church a one Month Quit Notice” and the church, being a yearly tenant, was surprised at the development and went to meet Mr. Chijioke Nsonwu and inquired on the reason he issued them only one month quit notice.

“That Mr. Chijioke Nsonwu told the church that he wanted to sell the property at the sum of twelve Million Naira.

That the church expressed interest in buying the property but said it will pay by installments, which Mr. Chijioke Nsonwu agreed to.

The petition stated that ” thereafter,  the church paid the total sum of N4 Million Naira in installments to Mr. Chijioke Nsonwus through his bank account with the United Bank for Africa (UBA).

“That the breakdown of the payments is as follows: on the 29, June 2020, the sum of N2 Million Naira was paid to Chijioke Nsonwus’ account; on 15 July 2020, the sum of N1 Million Naira was paid into

Chijioke Nsonwus’ account; on 8 February 2021 the sum of N1 Million Naira was paid into Chijioke Nsonwus’ account.

The Pastor disclosed that unknown to the church, Mr Nsonwu still went behind them, secured a Magistrate’s Court judgment to eject the church as a monthly tenant on October 2020. He kept the said order of court until last Friday, 10th September 2021, when he came with bailiffs of Court who pasted “Warrant for possession of premises” on the door and broke into the church and started throwing the church properties outside.

According to the Pastor,  Mr. Nsonwu, never let him or the church know about the pendency of any suit but  continued calling him on phone to ask for the balance of the money in respect of the contract of the sale of the property in question.

” Mr  Nsonwu colluded with bailiffs of court, who filed false affidavit of service in court file claiming that the church was served processes in the suit but refused to appear in court and the

Magistrates’ Court went ahead and gave judgment ordering that the church be thrown out of the property and to also pay Mr. Nsonwu the sum of N297, 240 :99K, he claimed against the church.

“That the bailiffs after throwing out some of the church’s’ properties thereafter locked some of the remaining properties like fans, carpet rug and other musical instruments inside the church and left.

The petition noted “that Mr. Nsonwu whom the church later learnt had gotten another buyer willing to pay higher amount, used the advantage of the sit at home and restriction of movement in connection with IPOB activities to  go to the church with some armed men on Monday 13th September 2021, and

Tuesday 14th September 2021, and started removing the roofs and damaging the remaining church properties with the aim of quickly destroying and leveling the property in order to sell it quickly.

“That he reported these illegal actions at the Thinkers’ Corner Police Station, Enugu, on13th September 2021, but the DPO took no action until Nsonwu finally brought in a caterpillar to the church and

demolished the church building on the 15th day of September 2021

Our Correspondent reports that the petition was also copied to the the Chief Judge of Enugu State.


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